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mudcat.org: what do the words mean?Child Ballad 281(The Creel)

[1] ADD Version: The Contriving Lover (Child 281)
From:[2] Joe Offer[3]
Date: 23 Sep 15 – 03:14 AM

In another thread, the late Bruce Olsen makes reference to an earlier version of this song, titled “The Contriving Lover.” Here’s what I found at the broadside collection[4] at the University of California at Santa Barbara:

T:The Contriving Lover:
Or, The Fortunate Mistake.
With the Old Womans Journey to Heaven up the Chimney in a Hand-Basket. Together with her Dreadful Downfall from the Chimney-Top to the Chimney-Corner.
To the Tune of, I often with my Jenny strove, etc.
Licensed according to Order.

(1)
A Rich Old Miser of Renown,
Who dwelt within a Country Town,
He had a Daughter young and fair,
As lively and as brisk as Ayre;
A Spark had got so far in Favour,
that they oftentimes had been
Kissing and Clasping, Dying Gasping,
Lovers, you know what I mean.

(2)
The Miser thought the Youth too Wild,
And not a Match fit for his Child;
He fearing what had pass’d before,
Forewarn’d him coming any more:
Farther to prevent their Meeting,
and contrivance out of door,
He did command her, to her Chamber,
and there Lock’d her up secure.

(3)
When this sad News her Lover knew,
He greatly discontented grew;
Resolving by some means, that he
His loving Dame again would see:
Knowing the Chimney of her Chamber,
he got on the Old Dads House-top,
A Letter bearing, words so ‘ndearing,
he did down the Chimney drop.

(4)
Desiring that she would next Night
Take care to keep her Candle light,
For he intended then by stealth,
To visit her that way himself.
This kind News did so surprize her,
and such Joys to her impart,
Thought of possessing, such a Blessing,
much reviv’d her drooping heart.

(5)
The Night ensuing quickly came,
When he resolv’d to see his Dame,
He then desir’d a trusty Friend,
That he would his assistance lend.
In a Basket he was let down,
his fair Prize for to obtain,
Giving him Order, if the Cord stir,
for to pluck him up again.

(6)
When down into the Room he came,
He welcom’d was by his fair Dame;
Their eager Passions to content,
They Kist, and into Bed they went:
Eager to possess the blessing,
fears and cares were soon destroy’d,
Loving Caresses, and Embraces,
by these Lovers were enjoy’d.

(7)
The Miser and his Wife lay near,
Who did the Tell-tale Bed-Cords hear;
The Old Woman in a heavy plight,
Cry’d, Husband rise and strike a Light,
Somebody’s got to Bed with our Daughter,
for I hear the Bed-Cords Crack:
The Miser amazed, soon was raised,
and into the Room did pack.

(8)
They hearing the Old Miser Rise,
Which did the Lovers both surprize;
The Daughter, in a thousand fears,
Whips out of Bed, and falls to Prayers;
Begging God to bless her Father,
who she thought was best of Men;
Begging his Thriving, and his living
to the Age of Methusalem.

(9)
He hearing what his Daughter said,
Return’d again and went to Bed,
And call’d his Wife and ill-tongu’d Beast,
Who did so base a thing suggest:
The Old Woman lay a while and listen’d,
being not well satisfy’d;
They possessing, of their blessing,
then she heard again, she cry’d.

(10)
Then slyly up got the Old Dame,
And into her Daughers Rooms she came,
She happen’d to stumble at a Stool,
Did into th’ Lovers Basket fall:
Up was drawn the poor Old Woman,
who in th’ Basket Screaming lay;
To the top he drew her, down again threw her
whilst his Friend escap’d away. Printed for R. Kell, at the Blew Anchor in Pye-Corner. 1690. Nothing blue in this one….

References

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